MRI-Based Visualization of the Relaxation Times of Early Somatic Embryos

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The large set of scientific activities supported by MRI includes, among others, the research of water and mineral compounds transported within a plant, the investigation of cellular processes, and the examination of the growth and development of plants. MRI is a method of major importance for the measurement of early somatic embryos (ESE) during cultivation, and in this respect it offers several significant benefits discussed within this paper. We present the following procedures: non-destructive measurement of the volume and content of water during cultivation; exact three-dimensional differentiation between the ESEs and the medium; investigation of the influence of ions and the change of relaxation times during cultivation; and multiparametric segmentation of MR images to differentiate between embryogenic and non-embryogenic cells. An interesting technique consists in two-parameter imaging of the relaxation times of the callus; this method is characterized by tissue changes during cultivation at a microscopic level, which can be monitored non-destructively.

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